Saturday, 28 March 2015


I guess everyone knows the 'Cinderella' story. No need for my usual synopsis.

The new Disney version had a cinema full of young children enthralled in rapt attention for its 105 minutes. As expected it is a slickly assembled combination of live and computerised action peppered with gentle humour and nothing too frightening for the children.

Cate Blanchett is the highlight with a glance here, a turn of the head there and the occasionally evil eye all conveying a deliciously wicked step-mother.

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Ban names

I'm not one who is into banning things willy nilly but one thing I sometimes wish was subject of banning orders is names. Particular sort of names. Those weirdly spelt given names like Jaxxsen or Caytie and so on which those poor children will have to repeatedly spell and explain for the rest of their lives. Those spellings would be a priority for banning in a world ruled by me.

But also high on my list is a short name that is not weirdly spelt but which always leaves me uncertain about its pronunciation. Marie. A simple name. Quite a gentle and nice name. But is the bearer a Ma-ree or a Mar-ee. I can never tell nor remember.

Ban it!

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Love is Strange

A mature age gay couple marry in New York after many years of partnership. When the income earning partner is fired from his employment the couple is forced to sell their apartment and spend time separately living amongst family and friends.

'Love is Strange' is not the film I expected from the trailer. It is quite claustrophobic and mournful in tone. Very slow with long, lingering French cinema style scenes, the film's plot raises many unanswered questions making it a somewhat frustrating experience.

The redeeming feature of the film is the fine ensemble acting.

Off my game

I've been playing reasonably well at Bridge in recent months making contracts that should be made and also making some that are, well, a little tricky and not necessarily makeable.

But last night I was off my game. I didn't get to play many of the early hands. About two hours into play a very nice couple reached our table. Their play was slow, oh so slow. They used most of the allotted twenty minutes playing the first two of three hands. Privately I was annoyed with them. I had to play the third hand with only minutes left and my private annoyance got the better of me. I was distracted, played the hand badly, really badly, and that was a bad result for us.

Next round I got to play a couple more hands. 'Focus', 'concentrate', I willed myself but my brain had shut down. The hands were makeable but not the way I went about playing them. Now I was annoyed with myself for becoming distracted but nothing was going to get my brain back on track last night.

I was simply off my game.

Sunday, 22 March 2015


'Insurgent' is the sequel to 'Divergent'. The same characters are still fighting the powerful controllers of what remains of planet Earth and are engaged in the race to decode a relic which contains secrets the controllers would prefer to have buried.

There isn't really much plot in this film which relies on computer enhanced images and wizardry to maintain interest.

Enjoyable enough visually but little else to recommend it.